Depression is an extremely complex problem that is very difficult to treat. I know because I was diagnosed with clinical depression and have been clinically depressed on and off the majority of my adult life. At my worst, I was unable to get out of bed and failed classes in college. Now I am a successful law school graduate. Luckily, I am much better now, thanks to a number of lifestyle changes, but I know I will always need to take care of myself to prevent another relapse.
Depression is a multi-faceted problem. You need to treat it on three levels: physical, psychological, and environmental. There are 4 books that have been key to me on this journey. 2 I will mention here. The first is "Perfect Health" by Deepak Chopra, which introduced me to the life-changing practice of Ayurveda. The second book, my holy grail that I give to everyone I know who has depression, is "The Chemistry of Joy", which balances Eastern/Western methods for a truly holistic method of treatment.
Physical - If you want to kick depression, prepare to put in a tremendous effort and to make a lot of lifestyle changes. The two things that have helped me the most is cleaning up my diet and getting regular exercise. I switched to eating whole, natural foods. I cook my own meals, and if it has something in it I can't pronounce, I don't eat it. I eat lots of serotonin-producing foods (meats, eggs, cheeses). I only use all-natural cosmetics, cleaning products, laundry products, deodorants, shampoos, etc - NO CHEMICALS! Supplements: 5-HTP was initially instrumental in getting me back on track, but after 2 years I had to stop using it because it gave me irregular heartbeats and chest pain. Magnesium supplementation (or epsom salt baths) are also really wonderful for curbing depression and anxiety. I have had the best results using ionic magnesium citriate. Vitamin B supplementation is also very helpful. Get as much fresh air and sunshine as possible and aim to get exercise at least 5x week. Drink 8 glasses of water every day. Yoga, meditation, cardio workouts, and reiki are also miraculous for depression. Be gentle with yourself. Do a self-massage with warm oil everyday, morning and night, with an oil that is suited to your "dosha" (ayurvedic type). For a quick "boost", ACV helps (as others have said here), or I make a shake with bananas, milk and raw cacao powder. If you are smoking, drinking, or using drugs, you need to cease use before you can start really healing yourself.
Psychological - One cause of depression is a pattern of negative thinking, usually learned in childhood. Did your parents, siblings, or friends tell you or make you feel like you were never good enough? Were you ever verbally or physically abused? Were you teased? Did you experience trauma in your early life? You may not realize it, but you may be talking to yourself the way that THEY talked to you - "I'm not good enough", "I can't do this", "I'll never have... " If this sounds like you, CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy) will help greatly. You can do this with a therapist or do it yourself, but please note this is not an easy task and you will need to put in effort everyday to re-train yourself out of this kind of thinking. My therapist recommended the book "The Feeling Good Workbook" and I still use the lessons everyday. Another book along the same lines is "Heal Your Life" by Louise Hay - a good book on positive self talk. Be thankful for the good things in your life. Also, having a spiritual practice (religious, or even something like yoga, which balances the spiritual with the physical), helps us put everything in perspective.
Environmental - Have a support network. When people are depressed, they tend to isolate themselves from family and friends. As much as you don't want to go out and do things, force yourself to do them. Let people know what you are going through. Take one day at a time. Join a support group. Surround yourself with positive, loving, people. Turn off the news. Get rid of the "toxic" people, influences, and habits in your life. Your parents, your friends, and your family may have hurt you. Maybe they were once victims themselves - forgive them. And above all, remember that you are not alone and you deserve to be happy!
If you have tried everything and you still are struggling with depression, please seek help from a trained psychologist or counselor. I know what a dark, awful place depression can be and you don't want to be there alone. While I think that lifestyle changes and CBT can help most people, if this doesn't help you, medication might be life-saving. Your life is too precious to spend in pain.
I wish you good luck on your journey... Xoxo
(Seattle, Wa - Usa)
I spent about 15 years severely depressed and on medications which, in my opinion, numbed me and added to the already bad situation.
Couple of things that helped me...
1) Seeing a chiropracter and getting the spine re-aligned, which in turn allows the nerve endings to do their bit effectively.
2) Acupuncture and chinese herbs which allowed me to wean off the nasty allopathic depression meds that I was originally put on.
3) Soaking 1-2 times daily in dead sea salt (Available at ebay. The more you buy, and you use 3-4 heaped cups or more in a single soak). This allows your body to absorb magnesium and other critical elements and minerals that are missing from your body which may most definitely be adding to the 'low'.
4) Green juice first thing in the AM on an empty stomach. Include celery, cucumber, parsley, ginger and lemon juice. This detoxes your liver and flushes out the toxins from your body which will shift things very fast for you. FRESH juice drunk as soon as you have juiced, preferably withOUT the pulp.
5) Sunshine, sunshine, sunshine, atleast 30-45 mins daily in nature.
6) Walk barefoot atleast 30-45 minutes daily on the earth, grass, see earthing under separate heading on this site.
7) Exercise to release those endorphins.
8) Eliminate all sugar, white flour, and processed foods from your diet. HUGE in getting better. Substitute with more healthy choices like greek yogurt and agave and nuts for a 'sweet' treat.
9) Addition of raw foods to your diet. If you can go 50% raw, you will find you are getting better very soon.
10) Pranic healing. Please google it. Learn to do it yourself or find someone who can do it for you. Life CHANGING!
Please ask any specific questions. I really know the above has shifted my being and hope it can be helpful to you too.
I have heard so many helpful hints to help you heal. I use to listen to Louise Hay a very well known woman who helped to heal many people. Ms Hay had been abused by her father as a small child. I didn't pay for her tapes as I found them in the library and made copies for myself.
I listened to her tapes every night for 9 years and they helped alot. Another woman who became a doctor after being Agoraphobic for years has a hospital but sorry to say she charges too much for her programs and that's a terrible shame after knowing how bad these panic attacks and depression feel and most people I know who have it bad can not work. She geta a big lump of coal from me!!
I did a lot of research to help myself. GABA is a very important supplement to take because it relaxes your mind enough to let you sleep and find therapy to help you get through it. Magnesium for me is 700 mg daily but check for your size and weight this helps to keep your muscles loose and not tight. Exercise for depression is very important. Don't eat too many foods that contain MSG this spice can actually bring on anxiety attacks. If you can go and swim in the beach the salt water takes away many negative energies and relaxes you. If you cannot, take epsom salt baths. Laughter is very good for your overall health. I have bought movies that make me laugh or I look up jokes and keep them in a folder. When I am down I go for these things to cheer me up. God bless you all and may you heal and have very wonderful lives. Please don't forget to "pay it forward" and help others who are in a difficult place in their lives.
Blessings to all, Mary
(Las Vegas, Nevada)
(Solana Beach, Ca)
My husband has weaned himself off prescription drugs for depression and anxiety. Now we are wondering if it is safe for him to take St. John's Wort and Passion Flower at the same time? He has been taking melatonin in the evenings to help him relax so he can sleep better. Is it okay to take all three (in moderate doses)?
Thanks in advance for any info you can provide...Loretta
Multiple remedies for depression
Obviously it depends on what's really wrong, but here are some suggestions that have helped me. I scanned the list of titles on the right and did not see the following:
-loseing weight/body image/new clothes
-doing things you've always wanted to but were too afraid to do
-jogging/runner's high - this works well
-fresh fruit and vegetable juices/smoothies/fasting on them
-clean water - not fluoridated/chlorinated tap water with additional mystery chemicals
-spending time alone with Jesus/getting close to Him
-getting enough fiber in your diet - apples
- Drink 2 tablespoons of olive oil mixed with the fresh juice of a lemon and the juice or minced bits of a few cloves of fresh garlic.
-staying out of co-dependent relationships - love people the way Jesus did
-being honest with yourself about who you are, what you want, etc. For example, don't tell yourself you want to be married, if all you really want/need is fellowship. Be real honest with yourself about your wants and needs. Isaiah 58:4, Matthew 19:12
Fighting the blues with Fennel
I have been plagued by the so called blues most of my life and so its been a preoccupation with me to find suitable remedies to cure my down times. While the following have more benefits than just making one feel better... they all seem to make life more generally happy for me. So after many years of trying one thing and another.. here's a list that I hope will be helpful..
Black sesame seed powder...some chinese markets carry it.. I take quarter of a cup a day
lemon and lime juices
''Fleur de sel''.. the salt that they harvest at certain select times
Omega 3 oils... a must for those prone to the blues like myself
hemp protein..acts for me within minutes especially if I mix it with applesauce
canadian ginseng..doesn't affect BP as much as others..its a cooler energy than the others
goji berries...soaked first..they are less expensive at chinese groceries
number 8 of the ''Schuessler Salts'' some health food stores carry this..this one affects me a lot.. I feel grounded, good, in tune with my spiritual self.. I have heard others say the same about this one
I hope this helps,
5HTP, Omega3, Chlorophyll, ACV, Lemon and H2O everyday, Yoga 4 days a week. This combination has cured plenty; depression, regularity, appetite suppressant, etc. I'm just one happy camper
My daughter suffered from depression and I found a doctor who advocated niacin we tried it, she was 20 and found that the flushing was painful and then she switched to non flushing Niacin. Now still on Niacin at 21, we have come to realize she must not go a day with out it and we have even increased the dose, she is vitamin B dependant! We have also noticed a remarkable difference when she adds Omega 3's it helps her even more and she notice a loss in weight. She might be bi polar, it runs in the family, but NIACIN has been a MIRACLE and EVERYONE should try it!!!!!!
In regards to Niacin, it has absolutely changed my life. I take 500mg of it twice a day. The depression seems to just melt away after taking it. I like the niacin flush I get. Be careful when you first start taking it, I recommend starting by cutting the pill into 50mg increments.
I watched a documentary on nutrition and a Dr. said that niacin totally erases depression. Of course you have to stay on it. He sited an example of a woman that was so depressed that she stayed in her room. When she took niacin, as much as she needed to get her acting like herself again, it worked, she became her old self. They told the Dr. and he said to take her off the niacin, they listened and she reverted back to a depressed state. The documentary may have been called "a beautiful world".
(San Diego, Ca)
Thank you all for your advice. It's greatly appreciated. I have a relative who has been on Luvox (an SSRI; anti-depressant) for a while, taking 50mg a day, and who was on a bunch of other drugs last year (they kept trying to treat the "symptoms" with a different drug, instead of figuring out the "cause" (ironically, the anti-depressant itself), and eliminating that), and we just found out about Niacinamide (Vitamin B-3), and how it helped the guy who started AA to get rid of his depression. Actually, he used Niacin, but Niacinamide doesn't have the hot flashes that Niacin causes.
Can we start to give him the Niacinamide while still on the Luvox? If so, how much Niacinamide do you suggest? They are in 500mg capsules.
Btw, I successfully stopped my panic attacks with it (I only had two attacks my whole life; I'm still blown away that I even had them). I took between 500mg and 2000mg per day, and only needed to take it for a few days. And that was over 3 years ago.
Seekthetruth, I know what you mean about wanting to help someone and your friend not being open to it. I have a similar situation with someone. It is soo hard to even speak to them.
Niacin or B3 is very effective for treating depression and Dr. Hoffer had great success with it. From the linked article:
"Bill began to take niacin, 3 g daily. Within a few weeks fatigue and depression which had plagued him for years were gone. He gave it to 30 of his close friends in AA and persuaded them to try it. Within 6 months he was convinced that it would be very helpful to alcoholics. Of the thirty, 10 were free of anxiety, tension and depression in one month. Another 10 were well in two months".
Also magnesium is very good for depression. Swimming in the ocean particularly good or just bathing in epson salts or magnesium chloride.
Porriage oats boiled for 2 minutes on the lowest heat drain then eat good for depression and nervous disorders. multi vitamins and minerals (iron supplement) is good for acne and hair loss. you can get this supplement from the chemist boots
I have suffered with depression from childhood which I feel has wasted a huge chunk of my life. I now try to treat it with diet, etc, I hate the thought of taking any form of drugs into my body. I feel that they are more damaging in the long term. Always on the lookout for natural ways to relieve the depression, I stumbled on your site last night after reading about OP on another site. Though I was skeptical, It sounded interesting, so I kept reading the testimonials until I came across what one person said about the effect that OP with olive oil had on his depression! Well... I immediately shoved a tbsp of olive oil in my mouth and swirled to my hearts content for 20 mins. What do you know, my mood lifted immediately, I felt motivated, positive, I was singing and dancing, my energy was back! Hey, I was back! I hadn't felt like this in many, many months. My mouth felt great too. I woke up the next morning without the usual panic attacks and feelings of foreboding. I'm stoked! I OP again this morning and my motivation has lasted through out the day. No depression! I just realized that a pain in the throat before doing the OP is completely gone. Hadn't noticed it before, so amazed at the renewed spirits! Still cannot believe this 'miracle', so I'm going to keep monitoring and listening to my body while doing the OP. I plan to do it just in the morning using the olive oil. If this keeps up words will not be able to express how this site and all your comments have given me my life back... No words. Thank-You! Q:Does it make a difference whether one uses olive oil or evoo? I'm a newbie so feedback would be welcome.
I read about oil pulling on this site and decided to try it, though i wasn't aware of any real health problems. I only had olive oil in the house so I went with that for 3 or 4 days and did the neti pot nasal flush afterward each time. I used a tablespoon of oil and swished for 15 minutes, rinsing afterward with 1/2 tsp. salt and 1/2 tsp. baking soda in warm water. Throughout the course of those four days I noticed a startling mood elevation and mental clarity that I hadn't had in a very long time. I also noticed alot of sinus drainage and my ability to smell increased. Also my eyes stopped feeling itchy or dry. I switched over to sesame oil because it was recommended, but have since switched back to olive oil and experienced the same mood elevation and mental clarity. This has made me wonder if I was suffering from low-grade depression the whole time. I feel much calmer and focussed, less confused and find alot more reasons to laugh during the day. I also have a TON more energy and work much harder. This energy caused me to have some problems sleeping for the first few days. One last thing is that my beard seems to have gotten much thicker and softer. I'm excited about such a cheap and simple remedy and would recommend it to everyone.